Ag News

Farmers are asking a lot of questions about the new Farm Bill. Joe Logan, President of the Ohio Farmers Union says a Farm Bill Implementation Forum being held on Friday, July 25, at Bowling Green State University, is designed to bring some clarity to what’s included in the Farm Bill. “So this is an opportunity to get all of the directors of the various USDA agencies together, along with some of the primary architects of the Farm Bill and chat about what was the intent of the Farm Bill, how it will play out over the course of years as crop prices...
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The White House Rural Council is committing $10 billion to create a new U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund for job-creation and rural infrastructure projects across the country.  The USDA says greater investment is expected to follow.  US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the investments will be made in the form of loans through CoBank, a cooperative lender that’s part of the Farm Credit System. “There is significantly greater demand for credit than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service has to service all the projects,” said Vilsack on a conference call this week.  “In other words, there’s a waiting list...
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The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will create four new Agricultural Enterprise Areas or AEAs and expand an existing one on January 1st, 2015.  The new areas cover more than 191,000 acres in Clark, Columbia, Marathon, Monroe and Outagamie Counties.  It will bring the total amount of land under AEAs in the state to 940,000 acres in 22 counties. The new areas are: Friends in Agriculture AEA, Clark County: 17,158 acres the towns of Fremont and Lynn.  36 petitioners hope to create the state’s largest contiguous block of working lands by linking with other AEAs. Greenville Greenbelt AEA, Outagamie County:...
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Its official, Wisconsin had another record cranberry crop in 2013.  The final numbers from USDA put the Badger State cranberry crop at 6.02 million barrels last year, a 25 percent increase over 2012.   Harvested acreage was up 400 to 21,100 while yield was just short of 283 barrels per acre compared to 245 last year.  Wisconsin cranberry acreage has increased 3,100 acres since 2011. Wisconsin remains the number-1 cranberry-producing state in the nation providing 67 percent of total production.  Massachusetts was a distant second with 1.8 million barrels, down 14 percent from 2012.  Other major cranberry states: New Jersey 547,500 barrels...
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Ag News - Rural Issues

Republicans on the Senate Agriculture Committee met this week with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to express their concerns about the agency’s “Waters of the U.S.” proposal and other EPA actions that are viewed as “anti-agriculture”. In his weekly conference call with reporters, Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns talked about the meeting and...Read the full story... »     
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David Oppedahl is a senior business economist in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Oppedahl conducts research on the agricultural sector and rural development as well as conducting microeconomic research. He also directs the Chicago Federal Reserve District’s survey of agricultural banks on agricultural...Read the full story... »     
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The vice president of animal well-being for Tyson Foods, Dean Danilson, says farm animal welfare issues will continue to be “a driver for change” in the meat industry.  And Danilson says those in the meat and livestock industries must continually ask themselves, “Is there a better way to do things?”. Here is an excerpt from...Read the full story... »     
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At the International Symposium of Beef Animal Welfare in Ames, Iowa, we asked Iowa secretary of agriculture Bill Northey for his thoughts on the delay in the announcement of the Renewable Fuels Standard volumes and the debate over the EPA’s plan to extend its jurisdiction over “Waters of the U.S.”. AUDIO: Bill Northey (4:10 MP3)     
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